Joao Moreira gives punters strong pointer with choice of Derby hopeful
7.50 Sha Tin
8.25 Sha Tin
9.00 Sha Tin
The countdown to the prestigious Hong Kong Derby continues intheSha Tin finale, a Class Two 1m1f handicap (9.00) in which Joao Moreira has marked our card by climbing aboard Super Oasisfor the first time.
The Classic remains the most coveted race by Hong Kong owners, who spend millions in their quest to uncover the winner– the race is on March 22– and those attached to the Frankie Lor stable have enormous buying power.
Huge amountsof New Zealand dollars were shelled out to secure Super Oasis, a Group 2 Avondale Guineas winner who went on to take third in the Group 1 Australian Derby in Sydney, both runs proof of his ability and potential.
His third and most recent Hong Kong outing, a strong-finishing fourth over course and distance, hinted at a perfectly-timed Derby preparation, which should continue today with a first local win.
Silvestre de Sousa extended his short-term contract to stay on for the John Moore-trained Enjoying, who was a neck in front of Super Oasis on his last start after both stormed home late. Previously in Sydney, he finished behind that rival when sixth in the Australian Derby.
In the jockey merry-go-round, Zac Purton has ended up on Columbus County, a lightly-raced winner from New Zealand, who is well regarded by trainer Caspar Fownes, while Alexis Badel rides Savvy Nine, another of Moore’s contenders.
Douglas Whyte has made a seamless progression from jockey to trainer and lies equal fourth in the championship on 24 wins, a total likely to be increased by unbeaten Inner Flame, who attempots to make it a hat-trick in the Class Three 6f sprint handicap (8.25).
Melbourne Cup-winning jockeyBlake Shinn has regained the ride on progressive Valiant Dream, who is perfectly drawn on the stands' rail in the Class Three 5f sprint (7.50) on the straight course. He will be hard to catch.
His main danger, Moreira’s mount Ka Ying Master, has the disadvantage of a low draw and the Snitzel colt will need luck to get into the firing line.
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